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Full text of "The first two decades of the Student Volunteer Movement : report of the Executive Committee to the Fifth International Convention, Nashille, February twnety-eighth - March fourth, nineteen hundred and six"

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JAN 2 5 


BV 2360 .S87 A3 1906 
Student Volunteer Movement 

for Foreign Missions. 
The first two decades of the 

Student Volunteer Movement 



New York 



TKe First T-wo Decades of tHe Student 
Volunteer Movement 

The year 1906 is a year of two anniversaries of unusual 
interest and significance to the student world. It is the 
twentieth anniversary of the inauguration of the Student 
Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions at Mt. Hemion, 
and also the centennial anniversary of the American for- 
eign missionary enterprise which began with the mem- 
orable Haystack Prayer-meeting at Williams College in 
1806. It is a suggestive coincidence that the earnest band 
of Christian students at Williams and the hundred stu- 
dent delegates who volunteered at Mt. Hermon had before 
them the common ambition of creating and extending a 
student missionary movement. The conditions, how- 
ever, for the development of an intercollegiate society were y 
not favorable in the days of the Haystack Band. In 
those days the colleges were few and isolated. The means 
of communication were poor. The intercollegiate idea 
had not been worked out in any other department of col- 
lege life. There were no strong religious societies of under- 
graduates to furnish the field and atmosphere for a com- 
prehensive missionary movement. 

The situation had entirely changed eighty years later 
when 251 delegates from eighty-nine colleges of all parts 
of the United States and Canada assembled at Mt. Her- 
mon on the banks of the Connecticut for the first inter- 
national Christian student conference ever held. They 
came together as representatives of an intercollegiate 
Christian society with branches in over 200 colleges. 
There was a corresponding movement among the college 
women of the country. There were two others among 


the theological students of the United States and Canada 
respectively. These societies, closely bound together by 
the intercollegiate tie, furnished the most favorable con- 
ditions for a successful missionary propaganda. Although 
at the beginning of this conference less than a score of 
the delegates were thinking of becoming missionaries, by 
its close one hundred had indicated their willingness and 
desire, God permitting, to become foreign missionaries. 
The story of the spread of this missionary uprising to all 
parts of the student field of North America is familiar 
and need not be repeated. It has seemed appropriate, in 
view of the anniversary character of our Convention this 
year, to depart from the custom of confining our report 
to the progress of the preceding quadrennium and instead 
to survey the achievements of the Volunteer Movement 
during the two decades of its history and make a forecast 
of the tasks confronting us in the new decade upon which 
we now enter. 

It will be well to reiterate the fourfold purpose of the 
Volunteer Movement, namely, (1) to lead students to a 
thorough consideration of the claims of foreign missions 
upon them as a life-work ; (2) to foster the purpose of all 
students who decide to become foreign missionaries, by 
helping to guide and to stimulate them in mission study 
and in work for missions until they pass under the immed- 
iate direction of the mission boards; (3) to unite all volun- 
teers in an organized, aggressive movement; (4) to create 
and maintain an intelligent, sympathetic, active interest 
in foreign missions among the students who are to remain 
on the home field in order that they may back up this 
great enterprise by their prayers, their gifts, and their 
efforts. Thus it will be seen that this Movement is not a 
missionary society or board in the sense of being an organ- 
ization to send out to the foreign field its own missionaries. 
It is rather a recruiting society for the various missionary 
boards. Its highest ambition is to serve the Church. 

The field for the cultivation of which the Movement 
holds itself responsible is the student field of the United 
States and Canada. This embraces all classes of institu- 
tions of higher learning, both denominational and unde- 
nominational. The Movement is under the direction of an 

Executive Committee composed of six representatives of 
the Student Young Men's and Yoimg Women's Christian 
Associations, which, as is well known, are the two compre- 
hensive Christian organizations among students of North 
America. There is an Advisory Committee made up of 
secretaries and members of several of the principal mission 
boards of North America, and also a Board of Trustees. ., 

Before this Movement was a year old. President McCosh |' 
of Princeton said of it in writing to The Philadelphian, i 
"The deepest feeling which I have is that of wonder as to 
what this work may grow to. Has any such offering of 
living young men and young women been presented in 
our age, in our countr}^ in any age, or in any country 
since the Day of Pentecost?" The Church certainly had 
a right to expect that a movement with such a personnel, 
operating in such a field as that of the colleges and theo- , 
logical seminaries of North America, engaged in an under- 
taking so sublime and inspiring as the evangelization of 
the world, would accomplish large and beneficent results. 
That this has been the case will be apparent as we con- 
sider in outline a number of the outstanding facts of pro- 
gress which have been achieved by this Movement during 
its short life of twenty years. 

The Volunteer Movement has touched by its propaganda 
nearly if not quite 1,000 institutions of higher learning in 
North America. Upon 800 of these institutions it has 
brought to bear one or more of its agencies with such con- 
stancy and thoroughness as to make an effective missionary 
impression. This includes nearly all of the American and 
Canadian colleges and theological seminaries of importance. 
In the case of a large majority of these institutions the 
work of the Movement has been the first real missionary 
cultivation which they have ever received. It is the testi- 
mony of professors and other observers that even in the 
rest of the institutions which had already been influenced 
in different ways by the missionary idea, the Volunteer 
Movement has very greatly developed missionary interest 
and activity. 

There are few student communities in which the spirit 
of missions is not stronger and more fruitful because of 
the work of the Student Volunteer Movement. As a 

result of the visits of its secretaries, the training of leaders 
for student missionary activities at the various student 
conferences, the promotion of its mission study scheme, 
and the pressing upon educated young men and women 
of the claims of the world-wide extension of Christ's King- 
dom at its great international conventions and on other 
occasions, the subject of missions has taken a stronger hold 
on the student class of North America than has any other 
theme or undertaking. The vital importance and moral 
grandeur of the missionary enterprise have been presented 
in such a way as to command the respect and allegiance 
of the educated classes. It may be said with truth that 
no class of people believe so strongly in missions as do the 
students. This is a fact of the largest possible significance 
because from their ranks come the leaders in the realm of 
thought and also of action. 

As a result of disseminating missionary intelligence, of 
personal effort on the part of student volunteers and 
traveling secretaries, and of the promotion of the ministry 
of intercession, not to mention other causes, the Movement 
has increased greatly the number of missionary candidates. 
Thousands of students have become volunteers by signing 
the volunteer declaration, thus indicating their desire and 
purpose, God permitting, to become foreign missionaries. 
This campaign for missionary recruits has been waged with 
earnestness for five student generations. Profiting by 
mistakes made in the early years of its history, the Move- 
ment has become more and more conservative in this work 
of raising up missionary candidates. No one familiar with 
the methods now employed finds ground for unfavorable 

Some mission board secretaries have recently raised the 
question whether the Movement has not swung in its policy 
to an extreme of caution and conservatism. Notwith- 
standing the ultra-conservative policy in recent years, the 
number of students intending to become missionaries is 
,' over five times as great in the colleges and fully twice as 
' great in the theological seminaries as was the case when 
the Volunteer Movement was inaugurated. This is no 
small achievement, because it is not easy to influence young 
men and young women to become missionaries. The many 


misconceptions and prejudices concerning the missionary 
call, the opposition of relatives and friends, the prevailing 
spirit of mercantilism and materialism, and the tendency 
to inconclusive thinking among so many students, com- 
bine to render the work of securing missionary recruits 
one of extreme difficulty. 

A larger number of new volunteers have been enlisted 
during the past four years than during any one of the 
three preceding quadrenniums. 

The growing number of missionary candidates stands out 
in striking contrast with the decline in the number of can- 
didates for the Christian ministry. Some people have 
thought that the increase in the number of student volun- 
teers accounts for the decrease in the number of ministerial 
candidates. This is a superficial view; for actual investi- 
gations show that in those colleges where the claims of 
foreign missions have been most successfully emphasized 
there has been the largest increase in the number of men 
deciding to enter the ministry. If the Volunteer Movement 
has been more successful in its effort to obtain recruits 
than has the propaganda for ministerial candidates, this 
result is due to the methods it has employed, the earnest- 
ness with which these methods have been promoted, and 
the motives to which appeal has been made. 

Because the Volunteer Movement is a movement and 
because it is a movement for foreign missions, the princi- 
pal proof of its efficiency is to be found in the going forth 
of its members to the foreign mission field. No matter 
what its other achievements may be, nothing can take the 
place of this result. This is its distinctive mission. It is 
gratifying therefore to note that the Movement has on its 
records the names of 2,953 volunteers who, prior to Janu- 
ary 1 , 1906, had sailed to the mission field. At the Toronto 
Convention the hope was expressed that during the next 
quadrennium 1,000 volunteers might go forth. It is a 
striking coincidence that the number who have sailed dur- 
ing the past four years so far as we have information is an 
even 1,000. About one-third of the sailed volunteers are 
women. Not less than fifty denominations are repre- 
sented in the sailed list. 

Including the regular denominational boards under which 
nearly all of the volunteers have gone out, and also certain 
undenominational and special societies, the number of 
different agencies under which volunteers are serving is 
very nearly one hundred. While the greatest proportion 
are engaged in evangelistic work, a large number have 
entered medical and educational missions, and every other 
phase of missionary activity is represented in the forms 
of service in which the volunteers are occupied. The sailed 
volunteers are distributed as follows: 

Among Indians and Eskimos of Alaska and 

British North America 39 

Mexico... 86 

Central America 17 

South America - 1 67 

West Indies G9 

Latin and Greek Church Countries of Europe 18 

Africa - ^13 

Turkish Empire 121 

Arabia 10 

Persia 30 

India, Burma, and Ceylon 624 

Siam. Laos, and Straits Settlements 61 

Chma ■ 826 

Korea _ 117 

Japan 275 

Philippine Islands 64 

Oceania 43 

Miscellaneous 73 

• Total - 2,953 

The question is sometimes raised, Would not many of 
these volunteers have gone abroad even had there been 
no Volunteer Movement? A question like this can never 
be completely answered. A somewhat extensive investi- 
gation involving interviews with a large number of volun- 
teers in different foreign fields by a member of the Execu- 
tive Committee of the Movement, has furnished data for 
the conclusion that about seventy-five per cent, of the 
sailed volunteers assign the work of the Movement as the 


determining cause in influencing them to go abroad in 
missionary service. Reasons could be given for increasing 
this proportion. It should be pointed out also that quite 
a number who never signed the volunteer declaration have 
reached the foreign field as a direct result of the Movement. 
Volunteers whose missionary decision is traceable to other 
causes testify that the Movement did much to strengthen 
their purpose, to help them in preparation for tlieir life- 
work, and to hasten their going abroad. 

Further proof that this organization is well characterized 
as a movement is its increasing momentum. Two and 
one-half times as many volunteers have sailed during the 
last ten years as during the preceding ten years. Nothing 
illustrates the spirit of this Movement better than the way 
in which its leaders have pressed to the front. Of the 
sixty-nine members of the Executive Committee and sec- n 

retaries of the Movement who have been volunteers, forty- ^^ 
eight have sailed, six have applied to the boards but have 
been detained by them for missionary purposes, five are 
under appointment to sail in the near future, two are 
securing final preparation, and eight have thus far been 
unable to go on account of poor health ; none have renounced 
their purpose. 

Secretaries of the mission boards testify that the Move- 
ment has been helpful in making possible the raising of 
the standards of qualifications of intending missionaries. 
During the past twelve years in particular it has empha- 
sized that those who are to become missionaries should 
possess the highest qualifications. It invariably encour- 
ages students to take a regular and thorough college or , 
university course and to press on to such graduate courses 
as may be required by the agencies under which they 
expect to go abroad. It urges upOn students that when- 
ever practicable they should supplement the regular 
courses by special studies in departments of learning which 
will better equip them for the difficult and responsible 
task of laying secure foundations in non-Christian fields. 

The promotion of the progressive study of missions 
through its educational department has in itself been a 
most helpful influence in preparation for the missionary 
career. Leading board secretaries have repeatedly empha- 

sized the indispensable value of the educational depart- 
ment of the Movement in affording facilities for securing 
such knowledge of missionary subjects. The volunteers 
as a rule have been encouraged to throw themselves into 
the active work of the Young Men's and Young Women's 
Christian Associations during their student days. This 
has helped to develop their executive, administrative, and 
inventive abilities. It has accustomed them to working 
with others. It has given them experience in personal 
evangelism, which is one of the principal methods they will 
employ all their lives on the foreign field. It would be 
impossible to over-state the importance of the service 
which the Movement has rendered in guiding and stimu- 
lating volunteers to fonn right devotional habits such as 
that of personal Bible study, secret prayer, the observance 
of the Morning Watch, and the practice of religious medi- 
tation, because those who are familiar with the conditions 
which obtain on the mission field know that when these 
habits are not formed during undergraduate days it is a 
most difficult and discouraging experience to try to form 
them after one enters upon missionary service. Above all 
the Movement insists that each volunteer should come to 
know in actual personal experience day by day Jesus 
Christ as the only sufficient Saviour, and the Spirit of God 
as the only adequate power in Christian service. It is 
evident, therefore, that the Movement in ways like these 
has accomplished much in promoting a higher quality of 
missionary effort as truly as it has increased the volume 
of missionary service. 

From the beginning the Volunteer Movement has ob- 
served in its policy the principle of the cantilever bridge; 
that is, that the one way to make possible the thrusting 
forth and sustaining of the volunteers who constitute the 
foreign arm of the service is by enlisting the intelligent, 
sympathetic, and active support of the students who are 
to spend their lives in work on the home field and who in 
turn constitute the home arm of the service. The old 
antithesis between the claims of the home and foreign 
fields has, therefore, as a result of this policy been rapidly 
disappearing. Each volunteer who sails means more than 
one additional helper in this world-wide missionary cam- 

paign. He stands for a constituency of his fellow students 
who largely as a result of his going have acquired a special 
interest in the enterprise and have come to feel a sense of 
responsibility for its successful accomplishment. 

Thousands of young men and young women in the col- 
leges are year by year entering other callings with the 
missionary spirit. Great as has been the service rendered 
by the Movement in helping to make the coming ministry 
of the Church a missionary ministry, a service equally 
great and in some respects more needed has been that of 
influencing the men who are to become the statesmen, 
lawyers, doctors, editors, teachers, engineers, and educated 
commercial and industrial leaders to recognize and to 
accept their personal responsibility for the extension of 
Christ's Kingdom throughout the world. Moreover, in 
interesting in the missionary cause the educated young 
men who are later to represent us in the diplomatic, con- 
sular, civil, military, and naval service in distant parts 
of the world, the Movement has greatly strengthened the 
hands of foreign missions. It is a fact of unusual interest 
and significance that nineteen of the present secretaries 
of twelve foreign mission boards have come from the ranks 
of the Movement. Several of these men were called to 
this work after they had rendered service on the foreign 
mission field. 

Before the Volunteer Movement was organized compara- 
tively little was being done to inform, still less to educate 
students on the subject of foreign missions. In a few 
institutions missionary meetings were held from time to 
time. Now and then a missionary' on furlough would 
visit a college or seminary. But as soon as the Movement 
entered the field it inaugurated an educational missionary 
campaign which has become increasingly extensive and 
efficient. Formerly, not one student in twenty had the 
subject of missions brought to his attention. Now few if 
any Christian students pass through college without being 
brought face to face with the most important facts about 
the non-Christian world and the missionary responsibility 
of the Church. It is now the general rule for each student 
Christian Association to hold regular missionary meet- 
ings. A large staff of traveling secretaries of the Volun- 


teer Movement make effective appeals in hundreds of col- 
leges and seminaries each year. Scores of returned mis- 
sionaries are invited to visit the different institutions. 
Missionary libraries have been established in most impor- 
tant student centers. Missionary lectureships have been 
inaugurated in several of the theological seminaries and 
in a few colleges. Most of these advances are traceable 
directly to the Volunteer Movement. 

By far the greatest service, however, in promoting mis- 
sionary education has been through its educational depart- 
ment which was organized twelve years ago. At that 
time an investigation revealed that in all the student field 
of North America there were less than a score of classes car- 
rying on a progressive study of missions. Since then the 
Movement has organized mission study classes in 668 dif- 
ferent institutions. During the past year there were 1,049 
mission classes with an enrollment of 12,629 different stu- 
dents. As an indication that this work is growing rapidly 
it need only be pointed out that at Toronto four years ago 
it was reported that there were but 325 classes with an 
enrollment of less than 5,000. Fully three-fourths of the 
members of these classes are not volunteers. This in 
itself is a further indication of the great change which has 
come over the college world; for, a generation ago the 
special study of mission subjects was confined almost 
exclusively to those students who, themselves, expected 
to become foreign missionaries. 

The object of the educational department of the Move- 
ment is to stimulate systematic, thorough, and progressive 
lines of study by volunteer bands, mission study classes, 
and individual students. Much of the success of this 
department of the work is due to the fact that for several 
years there has been an educational secretary to devote 
himself exclusively to its interests. Mr. D. Willard Lyon 
occupied this responsible post for one year before going 
to China, and during the eleven subsequent years Mr. 
Harlan P. Beach has held the position. During this period 
the Movement has authorized the use of thirty-six differ- 
ent courses of mission study either written or adapted for 
use among students. Prior to this there were no mission 
text-books available. Seventeen of these courses have 

been prepared entirely under the auspices of the Move- 
ment. Among the principal contributions to missionary 
learning have been such books as "The Geography and 
Atlas of Protestant Missions," "Dawn on the Hills of 
T'ang," and "India and Christian Opportunity," by Beach ; 
"Japan and Its Regeneration" by Gary; and "The Relig- 
ions of Mission Fields as Viewed by Protestant Missiona- 
ries" by different authors. Several of the text-books of 
the Movement have had a sale of ten thousand or more 
copies and three of them a sale of twenty thousand or 
more. The promotion of mission study has greatly stim- 
ulated reading on missions. This in turn has led to the 
building up of large collections of missionary books in 
many of the colleges and seminaries. Without doubt, stu- 
dents as a class, in proportion to their numbers, constitute 
the largest purchasers and readers of missionary litera- 

There are marked advantages in connection with this 
mission study work. It is developing an intelligent and 
strong missionary interest. It is doing much to make 
such interest permanent. It is an invaluable help in pre- 
paring missionary candidates for their life-work. It is 
making the conditions favorable for the multiplying of 
the number of capable volunteers. It is developing right 
habits of praying and giving for missions. It is promot- 
ing reality in Christian experience. It is equipping those 
who are to become leaders at home to be real citizens of a 
world-wide kingdom. When such writers as Benjamin 
Kidd, Captain Mahan, John W. Foster, and Professor 
Reinsch have emphasized so strongly, on the commercial 
and political sides alone, that the leaders of our own time 
must know the life of the peoples of the non-Christian 
world and prepare to enter into relations with them, it is 
most fortunate that the Volunteer Movement affords such 
favorable facilities for accomplishing this desired end. 

Not a little has been done by the Movement to improve 
the provision in theological seminaries for missionary in- 
struction. Two conferences of theological professors for 
the discussion of this most vital question were called by 
the Volunteer Movement. To these special conferences 
as well as to the discussions in the meetings of professors 

at the international conventions are traceable some of 
the most important advance steps yet taken in this direc- 
tion. In considering the great progress which is now 
being made by the Young People's Missionary Movement 
and by denominational young people's societies, it should 
be noted that Mr, Beach has sustained an advisory relation 
to this part of their work, and their leaders bear testimony 
that he has rendered indispensable service. Similar tes- 
timony has also been given by workers in the women's 
boards in connection with which there has also been marked 
advance in the promotion of mission study. No better 
evidence could be given of the real worth of the splendid 
work accomplished by Mr. Beach as educational secretary 
than the fact that Yale University has appointed him to 
the new professorship of the Theory and Practice of Mis- 


The Movement has sought to enlist the financial co- 
operation of students. When it began its work less than 
$10,000 a year was being contributed toward missionary 
objects by all the institutions of the United States and 
Canada. Last year 25,000 students and professors gave 
over $80,000, of which $00,000 was given to foreign mis- 
sions. This is an increase of fifty per cent, over what was 
reported at the Toronto Convention four years ago. If 
the members of the various churches gave on a correspond- 
ing scale the various mission boards would not be troubled 
by the financial problem, for that would mean to them an 
income of over $50,000,000 a year. Seventy institutions 
gave $300 or more each. Many colleges and theological 
seminaries are now supporting entirely or in large part 
their own representative on the foreign field. The grow- 
ing missionary interest has culminated in the organiza- 
tion of large mission enterprises in some of the leading 
universities, such as Yale Mission, the Harvard missionary 
undertaking, the Princeton movement on behalf of the 
literati of China, and the plan of the University of Penn- 
sylvania to build up a medical college in Canton. As a 
rule students give toward some regular missionary object 
and in all cases are giving toward enterprises which have 
the approval of the mission boards. 


An increasing number of the largest givers to foreign 
missions in our various churches trace their missionary 
interest to the influence exerted upon them by the Volun- 
teer Movement during undergraduate days. There are a 
great many recent graduates who as a result of this influ- 
ence are now supporting missionaries as their own sub- 
stitutes. The Movement in promoting the support of a 
missionary by a college or seminary has familiarized the 
churches with the idea of the support of an individual 
missionary by an individual congregation. Hundreds of 
theological seminary graduates, with this object lesson 
fresh in mind, have gone out into the churches to lead 
them to adopt a similar plan. The existence of the Vol- 
unteer Movement with its large and increasing number 
of intending missionaries constitutes possibly the strong- 
est basis of appeal to the churches to increase their gifts 
to missions. The experience of the field workers of the 
different boards clearly establishes this point. It is also 
being used by the Young People's Missionary Movement 
as an unanswerable argument in its work among the mul- 
titude of young people in the churches. 

Important as has been the work of the Volunteer Move- 
ment as an agency to promote the evangelization of for- 
eign mission lands, many consider that it has exerted an 
equally indispensable influence on the development of 
the best Christian life at home. Its direct and indirect 
influence on the religious life of the student communities 
has been very great indeed. Who can measure its effect 
on the faith of the students of this generation? It has 
greatly strengthened their belief in the fundamentals of 
Christianity. It has enlarged the content of their faith 
by its contribution in the sphere of apologetics. By 
bringing before them the difficulties involved in the evan- 
gelization of the world it has exercised and developed 
their faith. By bringing to their attention the triumphs 
of Christianity in the most difficult fields it has strength- 
ened faith. By exhibiting to them the present day power 
of Christ among the nations it has tended to steady faith 
at a period when in the case of so many students the 
foundations of belief are shaken. The marvelous spirit- 
ual power of the Movement itself and the intimate asso- 


elation it affords our students with the students of other 
lands have greatly enlarged the reach of their faith. 

The influence of the Movement on the religious life of 
students is observable also in the realm of character as 
well as of faith. Culture or education for culture's sake 
is not sufficient. Education for the development of char- 
acter and the increase of power to use in the service of 
others is the true conception which is promoted by the 
work of the Movement. The missionary spirit is the 
spirit of Christ Himself. Wherever the Volunteer Move- 
ment works therefore it exerts a humanizing and broad- 
ening influence. It promotes the spirit of brotherhood 
and unselfishness. It develops'the spirit of love and com- 
passion for men as a result of inculcating the spirit of 
obedience to Christ. The Movement leads men to be hon- 
est in dealing with evidence. It promotes decision of char- 
~ acter. It requires a life of reality. It develops the heroic 
and self-sacrificing spirit so much needed in our time. 
Phillips Brooks was right in insisting that missions are 
necessary for the enrichment and fulfillment of the Chris- 
tian life. It would be difficult to over-state the value of 
the service rendered by the Volunteer Movement in help- 
ing to counteract certain perils of student life such as 
selfishness, intellectual pride, tendency to growing luxury 
and ease, materialism, and skepticism. In summoning 
,. men to a life of unselfish, Christ-like service it is promot- 
ing the highest possible ideal. 

It has tremendously stimulated Christian activity in 
all institutions. Not least among the causes of the in- 
creasing movement of evangelism in the colleges has been 
the Volunteer Movement. A point often overlooked is 
the place this foreign movement has had in developing 
the home missionary spirit. If Jacob Riis is right in his 
contention that every dollar given to foreign missions 
develops ten dollars worth of energy for dealing with the 
tasks at our own doors, the home missionary output of 
this organization through its large consecration of life as 
well as of time, money, and influence must have been 

During all these years the secretaries of the Movement 
as they have gone in and out among the colleges and semi- 


naries, and conferences and conventions, have empha- 
sized among the students the formation of right devotional 
habits. Who can calculate what they have accomplished 
in enlisting thousands of young men and women in the 
habit of unselfishness and definiteness in prayer, in intro- 
ducing them to the best devotional literature, in induct- 
ing them into the habit of daily, devotional Bible study, 
in leading them to observe the Morning Watch? Secre- 
taries of the Young Men's and Young Women's Christian 
Associations testify that the volunteers in many places 
have created an atmosphere in which men have been en- 
abled better to discern the will of God and in which they 
have been energized to be obedient to their heavenly 
vision. The dominant note in all the work of the Move- 
ment has been the recognition of the Lordship of Jesus 
Christ. This one idea of regarding one's life not as his 
own, but as belonging to Christ has without doubt done 
more to revolutionize and transform the religious life of 
the colleges and theological seminaries tlian any other idea 
which has been emphasized during the past twenty years. 
The Volunteer Movement early recognized that the 
young people of the churches furnish an ideal field for a 
successful propaganda in the interest of enlisting workers 
and supporters. Within a year after the Volunteer Move- 
ment was inaugurated the volunteers began to work 
among the young people in the churches. As far back as 
189D the secretaries of one of the leading mission boards 
sent a letter to the Executive Committee expressing ap- 
preciation of the work done by the volunteers to kindle 
missionary spirit in the young people's societies and 
churches. At the first convention of the Movement held 
in Cleveland in 1891 one of the seven points of policy 
announced by the Executive Committee was the follow- 
ing: "Recognizing the wonderful possibilities of the 
various young people's societies of the day, the Volunteer 
Movement shall seek to spread the missionary spirit among 
them. It is believed that these two movements are des- 
tined to sustain a very important relation to each other." 
From that year onward an increasing number of volunteer 
bands and of other earnest companies of Christian stu- 


dents have devoted themselves to developing missionary- 
interest among various classes of young people. 

The first organized effort on a denominational scale 
was that carried on under the leadership of Dr. F. C. Ste- 
phenson, a Canadian Methodist volunteer, among and 
through the students of his own denomination. The 
effort which he inaugurated in 1895 has continued to go 
from strength to strength and has been one of the most 
effective object lessons for other denominations. About 
the same time Mr. F. S. Brockman, one of the leaders of 
the Movement, without knowledge of the good work being 
done on these lines in Canada, was so impressed with the 
possibilities of awakening missionary interest among 
young people that he decided to give special attention to 
developing these possibilities. He devoted much of his 
time and attention for two years as the representative of 
the Movement in inaugurating a similar campaign in the 
Methodist Episcopal Church and in facilitating like efforts 
in several other denominations. After Mr. Brockman 
went to China Mr. S. Earl Taylor represented the Move- 
ment in carrying forward the work to a higher stage of 
development. This kind of work for a time was charac- 
terized as the student missionary campaign, by which 
was meant an organized effort by students both volun- 
teers and non-volunteers to communicate to the churches 
through the young people their missionary knowledge, 
enthusiasm, and consecration, as well as to introduce 
among them their practical methods and agencies. Many 
denominational enterprises of this kind were thus pro- 
moted directly and indirectly by the Volunteer Movement. 
Some of the most successful were carried on by individual 
bands, such as the Yale Band, and the bands of Denison 
University, Northwestern University, and Wooster Uni- 
versity. In the first stages, the work of developing this 
kind of activity in the different denominations and among 
the various bands was financed largely by the Volunteer 
Movement. Two conferences of leaders of such activities 
in the different denominations were called and conducted 
by the Movement in 1899 and 1900. 

All along, however, it has been the policy of the Exec- 
utive Committee not to take on such work as a permanent 


feature of the Volunteer Movement, but to encourage its 
organization as an independent movement working on 
parallel lines to the Volunteer Movement either in the 
different denominations or as an interdenominational 
arrangement. The organization in July, 1902, of the 
Young People's Missionary Movement was regarded, there- 
fore, as clearly providential. This comprehensive, inter- 
denominational agency has the responsibility for the cul- 
tivation of the missionary spirit among all classes of young 
people apart from those in the student field. It is under 
the direction of a committee composed of representatives 
of the missionary societies. It holds summer conferences, 
conducts missionary institutes at metropolitan centers, 
promotes mission study, prepares suitable programs and 
literature for Sunday-schools and young people's organi- 
zations, issues and promotes the circulation of missionary 
text-books and effective leaflets, and organizes and con- 
ducts missionary exhibits. Its leaders and those of the 
Volunteer Movement are in close consultation with each 
other and are seeking in all ways within their power to 
strengthen each other's hands. The fact that the leaders 
of the Young People's Missionary Movement and of the 
different denominational missionary activities among the 
young have come so largely from the ranks of the student 
movement ensures the highest degree of unity and co-opera- 
tion. The possibilities of the Young People's Missionary 
Movement are simply boundless. If its campaign can be 
adequately waged, within fifteen years the entire church 
or Nurth America will be flooded with the missionary 
spirit. This in turn will make possible the going forth of 
the large number of recruits to be raised up by the Volun- 
teer Movement to meet the great need of our generation 
in the non-Christian world. 

Apart from furnishing recruits for the foreign fie d and 
intelligent leaders of the missionary forces of the Church 
at home, apart likewise from stimulating the missionary 
spirit among the hosts of young people, the Volunteer 
Movement has exerted a great influence upon the Church 
as a whole. The very fact of the existence of such a 
Movement, uniting the coming leaders of the aggressive 
forces of Christianity, has appealed to the imagination of 



the Church. The cosmopolitan sweep and growing mo- 
mentum and spiritual power of the enterprise has given 
an impression of its providential character. Christians 
have been encouraged by the sight of such a comprehen- 
sive and aggressive league to believe in the possibility of 
making the knowledge of Christ accessible to all mankind 
in our generation. The Movement has presented an irre- 
sistible challenge to the churches. Dr. Cuthbert Hall, in 
writing recently to the Bombay Guardian regarding the 
Church at home said, "There is an advance toward the 
world-view in certain sections of the Church. I attribute 
the advance, very largely, to the indirect influence of the 
Student Volunteer Movement. Our universities and col- 
leges are getting the world-view. They are becoming 
impregnated with the spirit of missions. A reflex influ- 
ence, radiating from university life, is smiting with new 
earnestness the occupants of many a pulpit and many a 

Although this Movement has spanned but two decades, 
it has exerted a large influence in promoting Christian 
unity and co-operation among various bodies of Christians. 
Uniting as it does, so many of the future leaders of the 
Church who have spent from four to seven years or more in 
the most intimate spiritual fellowship and united Christian 
service in student life, it is not strange that this should be 
true. These workers going forth to the foreign field after 
being so closely united during the years of preparation, do 
not lose touch with each other. The bonds of mutual 
esteem and allection still unite them. Animated in their 
most plastic years by a common life purpose and spirit, 
familiar with each other's points of view, and accustomed 
to grapple together with difficult tasks, they would find 
it hard, if not impossible, not to stand together in the 
great conflict at the front. Face to face with the power- ' 
fully entrenched forces of the non-Christian religions, they 
recognize even more clearly than they could have done in 
the home lands that nothing short of unity of spirit and 
effort can hope to prevail. Therefore, we observe in sev- 
eral of the principal mission fields of the world the attract- 
ive and inspiring spectacle of concerted effort on the part 
of the volunteers who have gone out to represent the 

different churches of the United States, Canada,' Great 
Britain, the Continent of Europe, and Australasia. 

Already in Japan and China these volunteers from the 
countries of Christendom have organized national unions 
to promote Christian fellowship, united prayer, associated 
study of problems, and practical comity and co-operation. 
Although the volunteers are still in the minority in the 
different mission fields, they are wielding an infiuence out 
of all proportion to their numbers. What they have 
accomphshed to deepen the spiritual life of workers, both 
native and foreign, through interdenominational confer- 
ences has in itself been a service of such importance as to 
call forth most hearty expressions of appreciation from 
many of the oldest missionaries. Under the influence of 
these united volunteers, in common with other causes at 
work, the idea of Christian unity has been much more 
fully reahzed on the mission field than at home. Even 
greater progress would have been made abroad had it not 
been for the denominational ambitions and lack of vision 
of some of the home churches. As was clearly brought 
out in the recent Inter-Church Conference on Federation, 
the mission fields have much to teach the home churches 
in the practice of Chnstian imity and co-operation. The 
good that has been accomplished is a ground for great 
gratitude and confirms the prophetic words of Dr. Temple, 
the late Archbishop of Canterbury, who said, "The recog- 
nition of the common task imposed upon every variety of 
Christian belief will be likely indeed to do more to bring us 
all into one than any other endeavor that we may make." 
In some ways, the largest multiplication of the influence 
of the Volunteer Movement has been its extension to the 
students of other lands. It first spread as an organized 
enterprise to the universities and colleges of the British 
Isles under the leadership of Mr. Robert P. Wilder, one of 
the founders of the Movement. It was next transplanted 
to South Africa by one of the American women volunteers, 
although it did not assume large proportions in that part 
of the worid until the memorable visit of Mr. Donald Eraser 
and Mr. Luther D. Wishard in 1896. The leaders of the 
British movement, particulariy Mr. Eraser, transplanted 
the volunteer idea to the universities of Erance, Switzer- 

land, Germany, Holland, and Scandinavia. The inter- 
national volunteer conventions held in Great Britain have 
exerted an immense influence upon the further develop- 
ment of missionary life and activity on the Continent. 

While none of the Volunteer Unions on the Continent are 
very large, they represent a great advance, especially when 
the baffling difficulties of that part of the student field are 
borne in mind. A member of the Executive Committee 
of the American Movement organized the Volunteer Move- 
ment among the universities of Australia and New Zealand 
in 1896. Thus there are now Volunteer Movements organ- 
ized among the students in all parts of Christendom. Of 
all the Volunteer Unions in other lands, without doubt not 
only the largest, but also the strongest, is that of the British 
Isles. This Union has accomplished as large, if not larger, 
results in proportion to the number of its members than 
has our own Movement. One of the most significant steps 
in the enterprise of world evangelism was the transplanting 
of the volunteer idea to the schools and colleges of the 
Levant, India, Ceylon, China, and Japan, during the years 
1895 to 1897. This also was accomplished by one of the 
workers of the Volunteer Movement. As a result of this 
action the Christian students of the Orient join hands with 
the Christian students of the Occident in the effort to 
establish the Kingdom of Christ in all the world. The 
student Christian movements in non-Christian lands in 
helping to raise up an army of native workers are striking 
at the heart of the problem of missions, because, if Christi- 
anity is to be rapidly and firmly established in these lands, 
there must be not only an adequate staff of foreign mis- 
sionaries but also strong, resourceful, self-propagating 
native churches. 

It is a well-known fact that in all countries where the 
Volunteer Movement is established there is a larger and 
more comprehensive student movement corresponding to 
the Student Young Men's and Young Women's Christian 
Associations of North America. It embraces in each coun- 
try not only volunteers, but also a much larger number of 
students who are not volunteers. It cultivates the whole 
range of Christian life and work among students. It is 
significant that the Student Volunteer Movement in several 

of these countries, especially in Great Britain, on the Con- 
tinent, in South Africa, and in a measure, in Asia, pioneered 
the way for the larger and more comprehensive enterprise. 
This John the Baptist service should not be overlooked in 
any estimate of the achievements of the Volunteer Move- 

In 1895 there was formed the World's Student Christian 
Federation which now embraces all Christian student 
movements and societies of the different nations and races. 
Under the influence of the Volunteer Movement one of its 
three principal purposes is the missionary purpose. The 
study of the formation and development of this world-wide 
Federation of students makes plain that the missionary idea 
has had a larger federative and unifying power than any 
other influence save the uplifted Christ. It is no mere 
coincidence that in the very generation which has seen the 
whole world made open and accessible and the nations 
and races drawn so closely together by the influence of 
commerce, there has been created this world-wide student 
brotherhood. God has been aligning the forces for a move- 
ment of such magnitude as the world has never known in 
all the centuries. 

One of the mightiest factors in the influence exerted by 
the Volunteer Movement has been the proclamation of its 
Watchword, ' The Evangelization of the World in This 
Generation." This has been sounded out with convincing 
force by the workers of the Movement for twenty years in 
conferences and conventions, in institutes and summer 
schools, in books and pamphlets, in public addresses and 
private interviews. The exposition, defence, and advo- - 
cacy of this great ideal has had a great effect in shaping 
the convictions and purposes of the students of our time 
and has begun to influence powerfully the missionary life 
and policy of the Church. When it was first proclaimed, 
nearly twenty years ago, it met with distrust, unsympa- 
thetic questionings, and much opposition. Year by )'car 
it has been received with increasing favor. From the 
beginning, among its strongest advocates have been the 
missionaries, board secretaries, and travelers who are 
among those best acquainted with the real difficulties 
involved in the world's evangelization. 


Some of the greatest missionary conferences held on the 
foreign field during the past ten years have emphasized 
the central idea of the Watchword. The appeal issued by 
the great ecumenical missionary conference in New York 
in 1900, said, ' We who live now and have this message 
must carry it to those who live now and are without it. 
It is the duty of each generation of Christians to make 
Jesus Christ known to their fellow creatures." The most 
inlluential bodies of Christians in the British Isles such 
as the Lambeth Conference of Bishops of the Anglican 
Communion have endorsed this Watchword. The deliver- 
ances of these influential conferences and conventions held 
in America, England, and Asia are traceable directly to 
the agitation carried on by the volunteers. One of the 
most conservative and etiective denominations in America, 
the United Presbyterian Church, has virtually made the 
carrying out of the idea of this Watchword a part of its 
missionary policy, so far as the parts of the non-Christian 
world to which it as a denomination is providentially 
related, are concerned. This step was taken by its General 
Assembly after prolonged discussion preceded by a thor- 
ough consideration on the part of its missions on the foreign 
field of the problems involved. It is believed that other 
denominations in this and other Christian lands are more 
and more coming to shape their policies in accordance with 
this great objective. 

Among the principal benefits of such a Watchword is 
the power that it exerts in the life of the individual student 
who adopts it as a personal Watchword, thus letting it 
govern his life plans and determine the use he makes of 
his time, money, nervous energy, and opportunities. It 
widens and enriches his sympathy. It exercises and 
strengthens his faith. It throws him back on the super- 
natural resources. It lends intensity to life. It necessi- 
tates a life of reality. It promotes the spirit of self-denial 
and heroism. It imparts vision. Comparatively weak 
indeed would have been the spirit and faith of the Volun- 
teer Movement without this ideal. Eliminate this element 
of urgency, which so markedly characterized the life of our 
Lord and the practice of the early Christians, from the 
Volunteer Movement, and its achievements would have 


been insignificant in comparison with what has been 
accomplished. If tens of thousands of Christian students 
and hundreds of thousands of the other members of the 
churches could have given this Watchword right of way 
in their lives as many of the members of this Movement 
have done, what marvels might not have been accomplished 
during the past twenty years in hastening the extension of 
the Kingdom of Christ in the world. 

In no way can we reahze more fully the great change 
wrought in the missionary life of the student field of North 
America through the influence of the Volunteer Move- 
ment, than by contrasting the situation as it was twenty 
years ago before the Movement was inaugurated with that 
of the present time. Then, in hundreds of colleges and 
other institutions of higher learning, including many of 
the leading universities of this continent, the claims of 
world-wide missions were never brought before the 
students; now, there is scarcely an institution of prom- 
inence in either the United States or Canada in which the 
facts of missions in their relation to educated young men 
and women are not brought to the attention of the under- 
graduates of each student generation. Then, interest in 
the world-wide program of Christ was confined almost 
exclusively to the theological seminaries and a few scores 
of denominational colleges and with the exception of a few 
medical student centers was a matter of concern chiefly 
to those expecting to enter the ministry; now, the mis- 
sionary spirit is as strong in state and undenominational 
institutions as in most of the Christian colleges, and stu- 
dents of all faculties or departments of learning alike are 
recognizing their common opportunity and responsibility 
for spreading the knowledge of Christ throughout the world. 
Then, the attitude of students toward missions was as a 
rule apologetic or indifferent; now, wherever the Volunteer 
Movement is well established it is one of growing interest 
and practical co-operation. 

Then, there were not more than a dozen collections of 
up-to-date missionary books accessible to students; now, 
there are several hundreds of missionary libraries in the 
colleges and seminaries. Then, there was no such thing 
as the scientific and progressive study of missions carried 


on in connection with the Christian societies of students; 
now, as we have seen, more than 12,000 students in over 
1,000 groups with capable leaders are carrying forward 
such studies under the guidance of a highly developed 
educational department at the New York office and have 
access to well-nigh two scores of systematic courses of 
printed studies prepared primarily for use among students. 
Then, there was no literature devoted to the methods and 
means of developing missionary life and activity; now, 
there are many booklets and pamphlets on such subjects 
written for use in student communities. Then, with the 
exception of a series of effective conferences confined strictly 
to theological students there were no student missionary 
gatherings ; now, year by year, at thirteen sectional student 
conferences the college men and women of different parts 
of North America gather for ten days to consider among 
other things the world-wide interests of Christ's Kingdom, 
and once each student generation assemble in a great inter- 
national convention over 3,000 strong to view together the 
great battle-fields of the Church and to take counsel as to 
the most successful prosecution of the world-wide war. 

Then, there was not one person devoting his entire time 
to planting and developing the missionary idea among 
students; now, the Volunteer Movement has never less 
than ten secretaries in the field and at the headquarters 
devoting themselves exclusively to serving the missionary 
interests of the colleges and seminaries. Then, in only a 
handful of colleges were students helping missions finan- 
cially ; now, in over 300 different institutions there are 
growing financial enterprises on behalf of the world's evan- 
gelization and many institutions are supporting their own 
missionaries. Thousands of young men and women are 
going out from the colleges each year on graduation to 
throw themselves into the great work of developing, under 
the leadership of the Young People's Missionary Move- 
ment, among the millions of members in the young people's 
societies and in the Sunday-schools, an adequate financial 
constituency to sustain the growing army of student volun- 

Then, only the most pronouncedly Christian institu- 
tions were furnishing missionary candidates; now, volvm- 


teers are forthcoming from nearly all institutions of higher 
learning, and, as has been stated, taking the student field 
as a whole, the proportion of missionary candidates is five 
times as great in the colleges and twice as great in the 
seminaries as it was twenty years ago. Then, there was 
no missionary organization binding together missionary 
candidates; now, we have the Student Volunteer Move- 
ment for Foreign Missions organically related to similar 
Volunteer Unions in other countries of Protestant Christ- 
endom and in the principal non-Christian nations, all 
bound together through the more comprehensive Christian 
student societies of the different lands by the World's 
Student Christian Federation, which embraces nearly 2,000 
student religious organizations with a membership of 
105,000 students and professors in forty countries. Then, 
there was no great unifying objective; now, the student 
world has as an inspiring ideal to call out its heroic devo- 
tion and self-sacrificing zeal, the noble and apostolic pur- 
pose, the evangelization of the world in this generation. 

Great as have been the encouragements in the pathway 
of the work of the Volunteer Movement during the first 
two decades of its history, far greater things will be required 
of it in the new decade upon which we now enter. We are 
summoned to tasks of the greatest difficulty and of the 
most vital importance to the Kingdom. First of all we 
are called upon to raise up a much greater number of cap- 
able missionary recruits. Let us never forget that the 
continued strength of the Movement lies in its appeal for 

The need of more volunteers is convincing. Several 
mission boards are calling for a larger number of candidates 
than are now available. Interviews with the secretaries 
of the boards reveal the fact that their requirements are 
sure to increase rather than diminish. There must be a 
growing supply to meet this growing demand. Hundreds 
of mission stations are seriously undermanned. If this 
situation continues it means overwork, imperfect work, 
lost opportunities. Nearly every missionary has large plans 
for extension. As a rule their demands are supported by 
the most telling evidence. There are still vast regions 
including hundreds of millions of people which require 


pioneer work. The need of men in these regions as well 
as in fields partially occupied, is not only extensive but 
intensive and this intensive need is indescribably great. 
To those who have hearts of compassion and who actually 
know the facts from first-hand knowledge this need con- 
stitutes the great pathetic fact of the world. The calls 
from large bodies of missionaries should in themselves 
command a large response on our part. Let us never for- 
get the strong appeal issued by the Decennial Missionary 
Conference held at Madras in December, 1902, in some 
ways the most weighty body of missionaries ever assembled, 
calling upon the churches of Christendom to send out to 
India as soon as practicable 9,000 additional missionaries. 
Remember also the call from the responsible missionary 
leaders of China two years ago asking the Christians of 
the home lands to double the staff of missionaries in China 
by the time of the Morrison Centennial in 1907. We as 
students should be peculiarly responsive to the appeal for 
large reinforcements which reached us a little over a year 
ago signed by the names of 343 of the volunteers of North 
America, Europe, and Australasia now working in the 
Chinese Empire. The fact that the spiritual tide is rising 
in every great mission field and the enterprise of missions 
has begun to yield on such a large scale suggests a special 
reason why we should press our present unprecedented 
advantage. To a degree not heretofore experienced this 
is a time of great crisis in some of the principal fields. 
For example, in all the history of Christianity when has 
there been a more momentous crisis than the one now con- 
fronting the Church in the Far East in the light of the 
Russo-Japanese war? And let us bear in mind that a 
great offering of the best lives of our colleges and semi- 
naries from year to year is absolutely indispensable to the 
best welfare of the United States and Canada. Without 
such real sacrifice we cannot hope to preserve spiritual life, 
a pure faith, and a conquering spirit. "The army which 
remains in its entrenchments is beaten." 

Reasons like these for a great and growing army of 
volunteers impose a tremendous responsibility on the 
Volunteer Movement. In view of our providential mis- 
sion, in view of God's dealings with us in the years that 


are gone we cannot escape this responsibility if we would. 
And the task should not stagger the faith of any of us. 
This is apparent when we remember that it would take 
only one of every twenty Christian students who are to 
graduate from the institutions of higher learning of the 
United States and Canada during the next twenty years to 
furnish a sufficient number of new missionaries to make 
possible a large enough staff to accomplish the evangeliza- 
tion of the world in this generation, so far as this under- 
taking depends upon foreign missionaries. 

We can readily obtain the numbers of workers required 
to meet all providential calls upon us if we will but multi- 
ply and faithfully employ the agencies which have already 
proved so effective. An expansion and deepening of our 
educational work, a wiser use of our large opportunities 
at the many student conferences, a considerable enlarge- 
ment of our traveling secretarial stafT, a general acceptance 
on the part of all volunteers of the solemn responsibility 
resting upon them for securing new recruits, the continued 
conservative yet confident aggressive use of the volunteer 
declaration, the deepening of the spirtiual life of the col- 
leges and seminaries by a great expansion of the Bible 
study activities, the calling forth of more intercession for 
laborers on the part of the Christian students in general 
and of the pastors of the churches, the encouragement in 
every way in our power of the Young People's Missionary 
Movement in its essential work of preparing the minds and 
hearts of the youth before they enter colleges for the days 
of missionary decision — the unwearied use of these and 
other means will as surely result in giving us all the mis- 
sionary candidates needed as the operation of any other 
well-known laws. 

In all this work of enlisting new recruits we should 
continue to stand for quality. The ultimate success 
of the missionary enterprise does not depend prima- 
rily on vast numbers of missionaries so much as upon 
thoroughly furnished missionaries. For the very reason 
that our Watchword requires haste we, above all oth- 
ers, should insist on the most thorough preparation ' 
and training of workers, knowing full well that this will 
save time in the long run and enormously increase the 


fruitage. Let it be reiterated in this Convention as it has 
been in all preceding conventions that our great need is 
not that of volunteers who will go when they are drafted, 
but of those who will press through the hindrances not of 
God to the work and place which He has appointed. 

Next to the demand for more volunteers of capacity is 
the need of young men and young women who, being 
providentially detained, stay at home for the express 
purpose of developing on this continent the strongest 
possible base for the adequate maintenance of this gigantic 
world-wide campaign of evangelism. To stay for any 
lower reason will defeat the object of the Movement and 
prevent the largest expansion of the lives of those who 
thus hold aloof from carrying out tlie comprehensive and 
sublime purposes of Christ for His Kingdom in the hearts 
of men. All students should be ambitious to exercise the 
rights and responsibilities of world citizenship. There 
should be no exception among those who are to work in 
North America as to taking the Watchword of this Move- 
ment as the governing principle of their lives. 

We should all associate our efforts to increase from 
among those whom God does not call to be missionaries 
the number of young men of large ability and genuine 
consecration who will devote themselves to the Christian 
ministry. No class of people should be more concerned 
with multiplying the number of efhcient ministers than 
the leaders and members of the Volunteer Movement; 
for without an adequate leadership of the 130, UOO or 
more parishes of the various Protestant churches of the 
United States and Canada it is an idle dream to talk about 
evangelizing the world in this generation. 

Those who are not providentially led into missionary 
service or into the ministry should devote themselves 
with as much earnestness and self-sacrifice and life-long 
persistence to the promotion of the missionary campaign 
as do those who are separated by the Holy Spirit unto these 
two callings. We must have thousands of earnest young 
men and young women passing out of the colleges each 
V year into positions of lay leadership in the forces of the 
Church. If in some way during the next two years ten 
thousand of the choicest Christian spirits of our colleges 


could be led to specialize on the promotion of missionary 
life and activity among young people, it would take far 
less than one generation to bring up the forces of the home 
Church to the point of maintaining as large a campaign 
as that required for the realization of the Watchword. 
There is no unworked lead which will for a moment com- 
pare in financial and spiritual possibilities for world-wide 
missions with that of the 20,000,000 children and youth 
in the Sunday-schools and various Christian societies of 
young people in the United States and Canada. May 
God give the delegates of this Convention, and the tens of 
thousands of Christian students whom they can influence, 
vision to recognize and undiscourageable purpose and en- 
thusiasm to exploit this marvelous lead. 

There is need of laying hold with a far more masterly 
hand on the student field of North America and cultivat- 
ing it with such thoroughness as to realize more fully its 
missionary possibilities. What has been said about the 
achievements of the Volunteer Movement and the Young 
Men's and Young Women's Christian Associations may 
seem to some like boasting, but these achievements when 
placed in contrast with what ought to have been done, 
what might have been done, what ought to be done, and 
what can be done, are meager and unsatisfactory indeed. 
No one recognizes the shortcomings and sins of omission 
and commission of these organizations more keenly than 
do their leaders. Well may they and their members 
humble themselves before God as they reflect on how 
poorly they have discharged their great trust. May such 
humiliation be so genuine as to make it possible for 
God to trust them with continued opportunity, that there 
may be more efficient and fruitful service rendered in the 
decade before us than in the two which have passed. 

The students of a nation offer an unparalleled field for 
any noble propaganda. Their minds are impressionable, 
generous, and open. The special training which they are 
receiving prepares them for holding a vastly dispropor- 
tionate share of the positions of leadership in the affairs 
of men. The student held of North America is ripe for 
far larger missionary harvests. What has been actually 
accomplished in certain denominational colleges, state 


institutions, and theological seminaries shows what might 
be done if the causes which account for the large fruitage 
in these institutions are but made operative in all the 
other institutions. There is no reason why institutions 
like Ohio Wesleyan, Northwestern, Oberlin, Mt. Holyoke, 
Cambridge University, Alexandria Seminary, Wyclifie 
College, should be exceptions in this matter of yielding 
large missionary results. 

The difficulty reduces itself largely to one of close super- 
vision and thorough and constant cultivation. To this 
end the staff of secretaries of the Volunteer Movement 
should be largely increased so that every institution may 
receive at least one unhurried visit each year from an 
expert on student missionary matters. The traveling 
secretaries of the Young Men's and Young Women's 
Christian Associations should give much larger attention 
to the missionary policy of the student Associations than 
at present. The splendid results of such close attention 
on their part to the Bible study department during Ihe 
past two years illustrate what might be done for missions 
with the benefit of such co-operation. Hundreds of sym- 
pathetic professors should be led to assume as one of their 
outside specialties the developing of the missionary spirit 
through the promotion of the scientific and progressive 
study of missions. The mission boards should release for 
the service of the Volunteer Movement propaganda such 
of their returned missionaries as may be desired to ensure 
the adequate cultivation of the entire field. Every vol- 
unteer should become a propagating center for multiply- 
ing the number of missionaries and the number of mis- 
sionary leaders for the home Church. 

The persistent use of such means as these would result 
in vastly greater missionary achievements throughout the 
North American student field. It would make possible 
the doubling of the number in mission study classes before 
the next Convention, the large multiplication of the num- 
ber of institutions supporting their own missionaries, the 
steady increase in the number of missionary volunteers 
and of candidates for the Christian ministry, and the send- 
ing out into the ranks of the millions of young people 
thousands of new leaders to kindle their missionary zeal 


and devotion. Not many years would pass before there 
would be in every student community at least one band 
of earnest students whose hearts God had purified and 
touched with His hand of power, that would ^constitute 
a veritable spiritual dynamo from which would course 
forth missionary light, heat, and energy. 

The time has come for our Movement and for the entire 
missionar>' enterprise to undertake things on a vastly 
larger scale. The conditions on the mission field favor as 
never before a great onward movement. The world is 
open and accessible as to no preceding generation. Its 
needs are more articulate and intelligible than ever. The 
forces of Christianity, both native and foreign, are widely 
distributed and occupy commanding positions. The forces 
which oppose the missionary movement have been markedly 
weakened. Momentous changes are in progress. On all 
the great battle-fields the conflict has reached the climax 
and if the present attack be adequately sustained, triumph 
is assured. 

The conditions on the home field are likewise favorable 
for taking advantage of this unparalleled situation abroad. 
Our missionary organizations have acquired a large fund 
of experience and have perfected their methods to such an 
extent that they are prepared for the prosecution of the 
campaign of evangelism on a scale and with a promise, 
a parallel to which the Church has never known. The 
material resources of the home Church are so stupendous 
as to constitute her principal peril. The various bodies 
of Christians have recently in the Inter-Church Federa- 
tion movement been drawn more closely together than 
ever for purposes of practical co-operation. ' 

In the student field also the outlook is most encourag- 
ing. The Christian student movement has a secure foot- 
hold in nearly every student community of North America. 
In the ranks of the various Christian societies of students 
are to be found large numbers of the young men and young 
women of large capacity, high attainment, and choicest 
spirit. The student movement has wrought out plans 
and methods in years of experience which prepare it for 
cultivating its field more effectively than in any preceding 
time. It has a realizing sense of its perils and is availing 


itself of the best counsel as to how to avoid them. It 
commands the sympathy and co-operation of every mis- 
sionary agency and of the leaders of the Church. It is 
animated by the spirit of enterprise, faith, and victory. 
In view of considerations like these our Movement simply 
must press forward to greater tasks or decline, suffer 
atrophy, and give way to some new movement. 

What are some of the greater things to which we as a 
Movement should give ourselves? The leaders of the vol- 
unteers in different lands together with the leaders of the 
missionary forces should make a fresh study of the entire 
world field and arrive at some plan by which it will be 
thoroughly mapped out and adequately occupied. It is 
possible to accomplish this now as at no preceding time. 
It is absurd to as.sume that the Christian Church does not 
possess the requisite ability and consecration to accom- 
plish such an undertaking which is so obviously in accord- 
ance with the desires and purposes of Jesus Christ. We 
should not permit ourselves to entertain further doubt on 
this subject, until the best constructive statesmanship 
has been exercised upon it, and until we have given our- 
selves far more to prayer than we have hitherto done that 
this great end may be realized. 

We should lay siege to the Port Arthurs of the non- 
Christian world with the undiscourageable purpose to cap- 
ture them. We should not shrink or falter before such 
apparently impregnable fortresses as the Mohammedan 
world, the literati class of China, the principal citadels of 
Hinduism, the great strategic capital cities of Latin 
America. Moreover we should not be staggered by the 
comparative indifference, inertia, and unreality of vast 
bodies of Christians on the home field nor by the general 
materialism and worldliness of our time. This should 
rather lend added intensity to our attack. 

And let it be reiterated that another great undertaking 
to which we should set our hands is that of raising up by 
the use of all good human devices and above all by the 
superhuman assistance of the Spirit of the living God 
nothing less than a great army of volunteers of such fur- 
nishing that they will meet the requirements of the situa- 
tion and of such purpose of heart that they will reach the 


fields. Of like magnitude and importance is the work of 
greatly enlarging the financial plans and achievements of 
the missionary movement. There are literally thousands 
of individuals and families, not to mention churches, which 
should each be supporting one or more missionaries and 
in many cases whole mission stations. The rising genera- 
tion of young people must be made a generously giving 
generation. The missionary enterprise must be so pre- 
sented as to command some benefactions as princely as 
those made in recent years in the interest of the higher 
educational institutions of America and Britain. 

The Watchword of the Movement, "The Evangelization 
of the World in This Generation," must be taken up in 
dead earnest by different bodies of Christians as the cardinal 
point in their policy. Especially must it lay hold of 
individual Christian students, both volunteers and non- 
volunteers, with such conviction that it will become in 
very deed a governing principle in their lives and relation- 
ships. This work of making Christ known to all men is 
urgent beyond all power of expression. It is the unmis- 
takable duty of Christians to evangelize the world in this 
generation. It is high time that the attempt be made in 
serious earnest. We appeal to the Church by all the com- 
pulsions of Calvary and Olivet to accept the challenge 
which the Volunteer Movement presents in the proclama- 
tion of this Watchword. 

If these great things are to be achieved we must pay 
what it costs. What will be the price? Undoubtedly it 
involves giving ourselves to the study of missionary prob- 
lems and strategy with all the thoroughness and tireless- 
ness which have characterized the intellectual work of 
those men who have brought most benefit to mankind. 
It will cost genuine self-denial. In no sphere so much as 
that of extending the knowledge and sway of Christ is the 
truth of His own word illustrated, "Except a grain of wheat 
fall into the earth and die, it abideth by itself alone; but 
if it die, it beareth much fruit." In the pathway of giving 
up not only of our lives and possessions, but likewise and 
more especially of our selfish ambitions and preferences 
and plans will we most surely reach the great goal that we 
have set before us. In all the hard persevering labor to 


which we must give ourselves not least must be the work 
of intercession. It is only when we come to look upon 
prayer as the most important method of work, as an abso- 
lutely triumphant method of work, that we shall discover 
the real secret of largest achievement. 

That undertakings like those which we have set before 
us require that we give ourselves to them with undying 
enthusiasm must not be overlooked. Important as is the 
most comprehensive and exhaustive preparation for any 
great work, there comes the time when the work of prep- 
aration ceases to be a virtue and when those who have 
done their best to prepare must give themselves with daring 
abandon to putting their plans into execution. God grant 
that this Movement fnay never lose its first flush of opti- 
mism and aggressive enthusiasm. Let the Crusader spirit 
which characterized the early Christians when they flung 
themselves against the Roman world, more and more 
possess it. 

Of transcendent importance is it that we exalt Jesus 
Christ increasingly in the life of this Movement. He must 
continue to be at once its attractive and impelling force. 
It is His program which we are to carry out. He is our 
divine triumphant leader. By His Spirit we shall conquer. 
The one word which sums up our great need and ambition 
is that the mdividual members of this Convention yield 
themselves absolutely to the will of God and the domina- 
tion of Christ. "A body of free men, who love God with 
all their might, and yet know how to cling together, could 
conquer this modern world of ours." 


Student Volunteer Movement 




Executive Committee 

John R. M-OIT , Chairman Dr. W. Harley Smith 

J. Ross Stevenson, Vice-Chaimian Bertha Condb 
Hans P. Anuersen Susie Little 

Ji<ivisorv Committee 

Rev. Juuson Smith, D. L). 
Mr. Robert E. Speer 
Rev. H. C. Mabie, D.D. 
Mr. John W. Wood 
Rev. W. K. Lamhuth, D. D. 

Rev. a. McLean 

Rev. S. H. Cheste^k, D. D. 

Mrs. T. M. Harris 

Mrs. N. M. Waterbury 

IvEv. John F. Goucher, 1). 1). 


Fennell p. Turner 

James E. Knotts 

Harlan P. Beach 

P. Arthur Conard 

Dr. T. H. p. Sailer 

William U. Pettus 

Una M. Saunders 

W. A. Tener 

Mrs. Lawrence Thurston 

Dr. Samuel M. Zwemer 

Gene/al Secretary 
Assistant Secretary 
Educational Secretary 
Assistant Secretary 
Special Mission Study Secretary 
Traveling Secretary 
Traveling Secretary 
Traveling; Secretary 
Traveling Secretary 
Traveling Secretary 

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